Software Programs Drive PC Expo with Simplicity, Security

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - Every year I find something different at PC Expo, the annual computer show aimed at business users; this year is no exception. Unlike past years, where there's been a heavy emphasis on hardware, 1998's show, held here, showed some of its greatest promise in software programs.

Some quick takes:

Entrepreneurs and the rest of us who need business cards, letterhead, brochures and newsletters will rejoice at Corel Print Office, due in a few weeks and expected to fetch $69 in stores. This program is masterful in its simplicity and wonderful in its comprehensiveness. Featuring examples you can use and step-by-step instructions, you can become a design wizard, or at least extremely competent graphically, without many tears. At the show, Corel won cheers from the crowd for demonstrating this program, and I can understand why.

Also interesting is the combination of Corel's WordPerfect Suite 8 with Dragon Systems Naturally Speaking, a voice-recognition program which has won much praise, including in this space. The combo also is sold in a law-firm-friendly edition, sure to delight users in the legal profession. Among those in the crowd ogling the new WordPerfect package was a user who said the program had many features lacking in Microsoft Word; that, and the new integration with voice software, gives users a choice.

Corel's products don't often get as much attention as they should; you might want to investigate them. Information can be had at its Website (www.corel.com). Another big thing here is security, both for your data and your PC in general. On the data side, Network Associates, Inc. (www.nai.com) has released two products in its Pretty Good Privacy, or PGP, product line. One creates a protected segment of a computer's hard disk drive where files can be deposited. The other secures individual files and e-mail sendings. PGP has become a favorite of many, and the bane of some, but these products offer enhanced security. …